If you're good at math and enjoy computers, computer programming may well be for you. Many learning options are available online and can be taken on your computer at home. If you just want to learn more about creating your own website or basic programming, many of these classes are free. You can also earn a computer programming certificate, associate's degree or four-year degree online.

Decide on a goal. Are you interested in a full career as a programmer? Do you want to simply know the finer points of setting up a website? Answering these questions will help you decide which online programming classes you want to take.

Check with engineering and technology departments of accredited universities and colleges. Many include continuing-education courses as well as certificates in computer programming. The University of California-Irvine and the University of Massachusetts Online are two examples.

Review degree programs offered online. The University of Phoenix's Axia College offers an associate's degree in information technology, with a concentration in programming; the program can be completed entirely online. Founded in 1976, University of Phoenix is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Be sure the skills you're learning are relevant to today's technological environment. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, employers are seeking programmers with training in object-oriented Java and C++ languages, adding that without a degree, employers will expect significant programming experience.

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About the Author

Ingrid Hansen has been published in "Twin Cities Business" magazine, the "Murphy Reporter," "Twin Cities Parent" magazine and the "Southwest Journal" newspaper. She has also written more than 30 non-fiction books for the K-12 library and education market, and has been a subject matter expert and a course designer for online college curriculum. She teaches English Composition at a local college, and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Hamline University.